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Steel & gold
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Zephyr Ref. 1008
If you like your Rolex rare, this Rolex Oyster Perpetual Zephyr Ref. 1008 could be a candidate for you…
The Zephyr is a special version of the familiar Oyster Perpetual, first introduced in the 1950’s. It is instantly recognizable through its super clean aesthetic and distinctive cross-hair dial.
But there are more details to admire. The long minute markers and absence of hour markers, for instance. Usually, there are tritium lume plots on the hours. But this is an even rarer “Japan dial”, meaning no lume on the dial and none in the hands (which are younger than the watch, a service replacement), to comply with strict Japanese import laws in those days.
The special features are not limited to the dial. The bezel is equally remarkable, with its additional flat facets. These are subtle decorations that work great with the otherwise minimalist features of an Oyster Perpetual Rolex.
If the design speaks to you, jump on it. You will not run into these on a weekly basis. This stunning Rolex Zephyr Ref. 1008 comes on a younger (1978), but beautifully matching riveted Oyster bracelet.
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The Oyster Perpetual models by Rolex offer the purest, distilled form of Rolex magic. No complications, no frills. Just that superb quality we know and love from the house in simple, three-hand wristwatches.
The name Oyster Perpetual refers to two important Rolex technologies present in the watch. Oyster indicates the presence of several water-proofing technologies such as a screw-down crown and a screw-in case back. (Of course, any vintage watch should be treated as not water-resistant). Perpetual refers to a rotor-powered self-winding movement, which will be perpetually wound when worn. The nomenclature is a strong nod to Rolex history, as the Oyster case was patented in 1926 and their perpetual movement in 1931.
Note how many Rolex model names start with Oyster Perpetual and follow with a third specification, such as Datejust or Submariner. The lack of such additional labels indicate we are dealing with a no-complications, time-only Rolex.
A popular OP reference is the 1002. A clean, minimalist every day watch in a 34mm case. Its smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet, combined with a nice silver dial make it pretty much the most timeless and versatile watch you could dream of. A non-chronometer version with a different dial was sold as the Ref. 5500 Air-King.
Up until today, a whole range of different dial colors and sizes are available in the Oyster Perpetual range, so there is likely something to suit you. If it is a timeless, simple watch, made to the absolute highest standards you are after, the OP should not be underestimated.
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